This Mineral Prevents Migraines, Reduces Anxiety + Fights Depression (Is It In Your Diet?)

Teresa Mason
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After oxygen, water, and food, magnesium may be one of the most important elements needed by our bodies – yet 80% or more of us are deficient in this vital mineral.
 
The benefits of magnesium are vast. Magnesium plays an important role in over 1,300 different biochemical reactions!
 
Contrary to popular misconceptions, it is magnesium – not calcium – that is most important in building strong bones and preventing bone loss.
 
Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, which is one of the drivers of aging, obesity and chronic disease.
 

Magnesium – not calcium – is most important in building strong bones and preventing bone loss.

 
So, if magnesium is so important for our bodies, why are so many people deficient? How can we up our intake and vitality in our daily life? Let’s start with the basics.
 
 

What Is Magnesium and What Does It Do?

Like calcium and potassium, magnesium is a macro-mineral which is needed by the body in large amounts. It’s actually the second most abundant element inside human cells and within the body’s cells, and it serves literally hundreds of functions.
 
To name just a few functions, magnesium supports:

  • Enzyme activity
  • Energy the body’s cells use for muscle fiber contraction
  • Protein synthesis
  • Cell reproduction
  • Protects DNA

 
Magnesium is crucial to glucose and fat breakdown, creation of DNA and RNA, and regulation of cholesterol production. It is also the captain of mineral balance, which is necessary to maintain cell life.
 
So, basically, what all that science mumbo-jumbo means is that magnesium is vital to nearly every bodily function.
 
Without magnesium we could not produce energy, our muscles would be in a permanent state of contraction, and our body wouldn’t be able to regulate itself.
 

Magnesium is vital to nearly every bodily function.

 
Now that we learned what magnesium does in the body, we know that it is vital to most bodily functions. But what does that translate to in our everyday life? How does more magnesium help us outside of a science textbook?
 
 

Benefits of Magnesium

Here’s a quick list of some of the main benefits of magnesium, followed by an explanation and supporting studies of these benefits:
 

  • Prevent headaches and migraine
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fight depression
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduce PMS symptoms
  • Improved sleep

 
Magnesium has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis, depression, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. It can also help with anxiety, PMS, sleep problems, asthma, and relieve migraines.
 
In fact, in one study, supplementing with one gram of magnesium provided relief from a migraine more quickly and effectively than a common medication.
 
And another study found that magnesium lowers blood pressure for people with high blood pressure and has no effect on those with normal levels.
 

 
 
 

Here’s How to Make Sure You Get Enough Magnesium

On average, men should consume around 400 mg per day, and women 310 mg per day, according to the National Institute of Health. It’s advised that if you take a magnesium supplement, do not exceed 350mg daily.
 
Our bodies do not naturally make magnesium, so we need to make sure we’re getting enough of this mineral in our diet. It’s important to note that during exercise, you may actually need 10–20% more magnesium than when you’re resting.
 

There are a few methods for upping your magnesium intake:

 
1. Food!
The most natural way to get magnesium is by eating more of the following foods: black or white beans, pine nuts, quinoa, spinach, halibut, oat bran and pumpkin seeds.
 
You can also take a tablespoon of molasses daily for a nice dose of magnesium and many other minerals.
 
Unfortunately, refined oils, sugars, and grains remove most of the existing magnesium in what could be magnesium rich foods. In fact, even the quality of the soil that the magnesium-rich foods grow in affect the overall outcome and has decreased magnesium content in the 20th century.
 
2. Supplements
Due to the issue with magnesium content in foods, it might be necessary to get your magnesium in supplement form.
 
If you want to take a vitamin in addition to your magnesium friendly meal choices, it is believed that the best forms of supplemental magnesium are the ones chelated to an amino acid or krebs cycle intermediate.
 
Translation – look for these in the vitamin aisle:

  • magnesium glycinate
  • magnesium taurate
  • magnesium malate
  • magnesium citrate
  • or magnesium fumarate

You can also find magnesium supplements in powder form. These you can mix into drinks or smoothies and come in both flavored and unflavored varieties.
 
3. Transdermal
You can receive the benefits of magnesium transdermally through oils and creams and mineral salt baths.
 
You can find these oils, creams, and salt in stores or find a recipe online to DIY some yourself!
 
 

Final Important Details About Magnesium

Magnesium overdose is rare because the kidneys work to get rid of excess magnesium. However, if you have kidney disease or any kidney issues, heart disease or gastrointestinal issues, this is important to be aware of and consult your healthcare provider with any questions.
 
Magnesium is vital for heart and bone health, mental function and overall body maintenance. When you get enough of it, your muscles are relaxed and you get great sleep.
 
You can also use magnesium for diabetes prevention and migraine, depression, anxiety, and PMS relief. Your body doesn’t make it, so you have to make sure to get magnesium on your own.
 
This article and all included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. Please consult your healthcare provider for all health-related questions and concerns.
 

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Teresa Mason

Teresa is a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor and a Karma Kids certified kids yoga instructor. Her top passions are yoga, books, cats, and nutrition. She hopes to show that yoga is for everyone and to inspire others to find balance and self-love on their yoga and mindfulness journey.

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